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Israel 9, Us 7, Faa 6, Obama 6, Jordan 6, Francis 5, Nbc 5, Syria 4, Andy 4, U.s. 4, Washington 4, Alex 4, Iran 4, P.j. 3, Gary 3, Alex Witt 3, United States 3, Max 3, Msnbc 3, Lisa 2,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business. New.  

    March 23, 2013
    4:00 - 5:00am PDT  

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saddam hussein even if there wasn't any intelligence at all. >> it is at worst lies and deception. it is at best, incompetence and lack of understanding. >> a lot of people who purposefully used extreme rhetoric to gin up popular support for the war, there have been no consequences for them. >> we sit here some eight years later, 4,000 americans lost their lives. maybe 100,000 iraqis lost their lives. it cost about a trillion dollars. was it worth it? did you give the right advice? >> i think i did. if you look back at the proposition we faced after 9/11, with respect to saddam hussein, we were very concerned about the prospects of terrorists like the 9/11 crowd, acquiring weapons of mass destruction, biological agent or nuclear weapon they could use on the united states. >> there's no question the news media didn't do its job during
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the run-up to the iraq war. far too often, the press simply accepted these sweeping assertions by the highest officials in the government. without looking for the hard evidence to support it. >> more concern about the politics of my decision rather than what is right and what is wrong. >> i have prayed to god many times that he would forgive me for sending his children to die in a war that never had to happen. >> was there ever any consideration of apologizing to the american people? >> i mean, apologizing would basically say the decision was a wrong decision. and i don't believe it was a wrong decision.
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one last stop. the president this morning heading home from the mideast. today, what he said on one particular issue is making big headlines. signs of the sequester. it could be coming to an airport near you. might it lead to dangerous skies? up all night. they call it. the u.s. senate just finished its business a short time ago. why did they stay so late? it's a bird, it's a plane, it's actually neither. but it is something that caught the eye of thousands.
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good morning, everyone and welcome to "weekends with alex witt." let's get to what's happening right now out there. as president obama heads back to the u.s., just about 90 minutes or so from now after the final stop on his mideast trip he visited the fables city of petra, jordan, this morning. and one major topic of discussion for the president, the civil war going on in nearby syria, and the massive number of syrian refugees now in jordan. nbc's peter alexander is traveling with the president and joins us from amman. so peter with a good saturday morning to you. how has this trip gone so far for the president in jordan? >> well, right now, alex, the president's enjoying the end of his trip. punctuating it, as you noted, with a trip to the celebrated archaeological site in this country known as petra. the focus of the trip has largely been on the future. but at least for the last couple hours he's focusing on the middle east past. advisers tell me this is actually a place that president obama added to the itinerary. a destination that he very much wanted to see. sandstorms delayed his travel yesterday. but today that's proving not to be a problem.
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most significantly the pictures that really define the president's visit here to jordan are those from the northern part of this country, where refugees have been flooding in to jordan over the past several months because of that conflict, that civil war in syria. king abdullah of jordan yesterday saying the number of refugees now approaches 500,000. about 460,000. he said that's 10% of the population here. mr. obama pledging $200 million in additional aid. and also defending the fact that the americans have not, at least so far, militaryly intervened in syria. take a listen. >> you know, i think it's fair to say that the united states often finds itself in a situation where if it goes in militarily then it's criticized for going in militarily. and if it doesn't go in militarily then people say, why aren't you doing something militarily? and, you know, my response at this stage is to make sure that what we do contributes to
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bringing an end to the bloodshed as quickly as possible. >> this really was an effort to try to bring the international community together here, here in the middle east. the last several days, only about 50 hours of them, and israel, the last 24 or so hours here in jordan. and while the president leaves secretary of state john kerry, alex, it's worth noting is going to stay behind, he has meetings scheduled today here in jordan with the head of the palestinian authority, mahmoud abbas. and then he returns to israel a little bit later, where he'll be meeting for dinner with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. just one more indication of the commitment of this administration to try to really revive the peace talks in this region. >> let's hope something fruitful comes from that. thank you very much peter alexander in amman, jordan. the president also focused on gun control today in his weekly address this morning. he's urging congress to hold a vote on several proposed measures which include making it harder for criminals and people with severe mental illness from getting their hands on guns. and reinstating a ban on
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military-style assault weapons. >> -- shouldn't be controversial. they're commonsense. they're supported by a majority of the american people. and i urge the senate and the house to give each of them a vote. >> meantime, while you slept, the senate was working. in fact, passing its first budget in four years during an all-night session being called a voter-ama. the nonbinding blueprint passed by a near party vote, the senate spent several hours taking up dozens of amendments. >> 35 amendments. we've done 70, twice as many. doing this has been a herculean feat. >> i know everyone is exhausted. and you may not feel it at the moment, but this is one of the senate's finest days in recent years, and i commend everyone who has participated in this extraordinary debate. >> with that, some of the amendments have nothing to do with the budget or fiscal policy but party operatives on both
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sides are keeping score of last night's votes. for potential campaign fodder in 2014. joining me now, white house correspondent for the hill amie parnes and staff reporter for mother jones andy krul. good morning to both of you. andy, i'll begin with you. the senate working until gosh just like two hours ago. blistering through 70 amendments. so what was that about? and did anything significant happen? >> well, the significant thing that happened was the senate finally passed a budget of its own. it was led by senator patty murray. senate's first budget in four years. now, it is nonbinding, and it really doesn't stand a chance of becoming an actual budget by being reconciled with the house. but that on its face was important to see and something that we hadn't seen in awhile. we also had this voter ama, as you described it. while there were 70 amendments actually debated and voted on, there were some 500 offered. and you know, as you said, this
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was more about scorekeeping. this was more about fodder for attack ads in 2014, in 2016, there were amendments on the keystone xl pipeline. there were amendments on the medical tax device that pays for obama care. there are amendments on all sorts of things that don't have to do with the budget. so it was as political as it was about policy last night. >> yeah. but amie, you know, democrats passing this first budget in four years here, how significant is that? and what does it call for? >> well, it's significant just like andy said. it's sort of all politics at play. but you know, it's so vastly different from what the republicans in the house want. so i don't think -- and it's different than what the president wants. so i think that list just posturing. you know patty murray expressed optimism. she said that they might be able to bridge that divide. but i'm rather skeptical of that, alex. >> yeah, i'm curious, andy, why do you think? because you've got one being passed by the democratically controlled senate, and then you've got the house, or the gop
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control, do you think there's any chance these two extreme budgets in terms of their perspectives, will be mitigated and something will be passed? >> no. there's really no chance whatsoever. i mean, in the senate, on the democratic side you have a budget that is, you know, that trims spending by a little bit but it raises taxes in a significant way. senator murray says it's about creating jobs, and it's about growth. and then obviously on the house side you have a budget that is heavy on spending cuts and that has nothing to do with raising taxes at all. because obviously the house gop would not stand for that. so you have really, you know, clashing visions of what a government budget really should be. and what we're really going to see here is sort of a, as a future budget fight, you know, somewhere down the road, maybe later this year, over how the government writes a budget and how these two budgets, you know, had any future and if they can be reconciled or not. >> amie let's move on to the president's trip here to the middle east. he's going in, as you know, we
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talked about this. the white house was lowering expectations. but did anything happen to exceed those expectations? >> i think advise ares think that it was a largely positive trip. when you look at the headlines in israel, they're very, very, they're calling this trip a very successful one. you know, they had prime minister netanyahu and president obama had their moments. they exchanged laughs. there were, you know, it was a far cry from a moment in the oval office that we saw last year where there was very -- there was a lot of tension. i think that he sort of achieved what he wanted to do there on iran, on middle east peace, on trying to move that along a little. so i think he sort of, you know, this was a trip to really sort of embrace israel, to kind of give them a nod. he hadn't gone his entire four years, his entire first term. so i think that this was a largely positive trip for him. >> andy, the speech the president delivered to young palestinians and israelis on thursday, it was -- it was a great speech. let's listen to some of that.
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oh, i wish we could have. i just got from my director we don't have it. it was a great speech. did you interpret it that way, as well? i mean it seemed to appeal to both sides. all the applause that was peppered throughout that speech. >> the speech on thursday was the centerpiece of this trip for president obama. it was really the most significant thing. you know, the bulk of the trip really was repairing and resetting the president's relationship with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. you know, the trip was billed operation desert schmooze so it was really the bar was set very low. but this speech had powerful language. the president took a very firm stand on settlements, on occupation, and really sort of nudged open the door ever so slightly for a peace process. now, what the president's message was, that it needs to come from the people in israel, it needs to come from the people in palestine, that it needs to be come from the outside and it's not something that leaders,
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whether in the israeli government or the american government can just spearhead on their own, that the people need to have this. but it was a really important speech. >> it was. >> and i think really, really well-delivered. i love when you talk about operation desert schmooze. the other thing i was hearing out about it, you had me at shalom. it appears to be all good at this point. we'll see how it all plays out back stateside. amie, andy, thanks so much. the consequences of the sequester now more apparent. the faa just decided to close airport control towers at small and medium-sized airports. nbc's pete williams has more on the impact of the closures. >> reporter: the faa says it must take this step to meet the goal of cutting more than $600 million out of its budget. so starting in two weeks, it will shut down air traffic control towers in 38 states. affecting operations at 149 small and medium-sized air ports nationwide. this is not expected to have much impact on commercial airline schedules. but it will affect operations at
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airports like fredrick municipal in maryland, where private planes operate. the towers will shut down because the faa is laying off the contract controllers. another example, greenville, south carolina, which handles an average of 80 flights a day. these airports will not shut down completely because most planes can land without controllers, but it could put more demand on other faa facilities, which will have their own problems coping with layoffs. the group that speaks for private plane owners calls this extremely disappointing. and says the faa, the same federal agency responsible for ensuring aviation safety, is now taking steps to compromise it. >> all right, pete, thanks so much for that. well, on top of these closures the faa says 15,000 air controlled towers will be -- rather controllers are going to be forced to take one unpaid day off every two weeks starting on april 21. that means expect delays, everyone. let's go to weather now. spring looks like winter in parts of the country today. in denver, blizzard conditions during a world cup qualifying
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soccer match. between the u.s. and costa rica there. the u.s. managed to win 1-0. that weather, though, is heading east, and nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer is here with the rest of the forecast. good morning, dylan. >> hey, alex, good morning. spring is nowhere to be found. you really have to go down into the deep south to get anything warm. temperatures are going to stay well below average across most of the country. today you can see we're in the teens in billings. 23 right now in minneapolis. we are going to see a round of severe storms, especially later on tonight and into tomorrow morning. right now, we have frequent cloud-to-ground lightning across parts of northern alabama, that is moving towards atlanta. and that could create some travel troubles this morning, especially in and around atlanta airport. now we also have snow on the backside of this storm system. parts of denver, already picked up almost a half a foot of snow. and you can see the snow is still coming down across parts of the plains states where we do have winter storm warnings and advisories and winter weather watches stretching into illinois and indiana.
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we are looking at several inches of snow to fall between today and tomorrow. then it will eventually move into the mid-atlantic region and even into the northeast by monday. but look at those totals, about 6 to 12 inches across a good chunk of the middle of the country, from kansas city right over into ohio and west virginia, as well. temperatures today in chicago, about 36 degrees. that sets the stage for the snow tomorrow. and again, we could see some very strong storms, especially through the day today, into tonight, and on sunday down across the gulf coast. alex? >> okay, dylan, thanks very much for that. in congress this week, something went right. you heard me. don't adjust the audio. so what is it and how did it happen? i really like your new jetta! and you want to buy one like mine because it's so safe, right? yeah... yeah... i know what you've heard -- iihs top safety pick for $159 a month -- but, i wish it was more dangerous, like a monster truck or dune buggy! you can't have the same car as me! [ male announcer ] now everyone's going to want one. let's get a jetta. [ male announcer ] volkswagen springtoberfest is here and there's no better time to get a jetta.
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today marks the third anniversary of the signing of president obama's landmark health care reform law. three years later and the bill
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is still under attack from republican lawmakers. but increasing number of states that previously opposed the law are now signing on to its medicaid expansion program, with some big surprise turnarounds from states like arizona, and florida. so that leads us to our question of the day for all of you. will obama care stand the test of time? talk to me on twitter. my handle is @alexwitt. and i will be reading some of your tweets throughout the day. a critical move by congress this week to delay furlough notices for hundreds of thousands of pentagon civilian employees. the house passed a bill thursday to extend funding for workers facing sequestration cuts. the measure gives the pentagon time to decide on how best to make those cuts. and joining me now is democratic congressman william enhart. thank you so much for being here, sir. i do appreciate that for this early hour. >> good morning, alex. >> i want to ask you about this whole situation. put it into context for us.
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how much of an impact does this delay have across the country? >> well, you know, i think the good thing here is that we've given the department of defense flexibility to move around the cuts, and to move funds from one account to another account. so it's going to help a bit. i've spoken out against sequester on the house floor. and i think that it is not the proper way to approach our fiscal situation. i think that what we need to do instead of just cutting across the board is to cut into the fat and not the muscle and bone and that concerns me a great deal. >> so i could imagine why it does because i want to talk specifically. scott air force base, that's in your district, and i'm sure when you're voting against the sequester you're thinking about that because it now faces big cuts under the sequester. 4500 of the approximately 5,000 civilian workers are expecting furloughs there on that base. and if you look at what scott contributes to the local
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economy, $2.3 billion. so, the effect of the furloughs, as a result of sequestration, how do you expect that to play out? >> well, i can tell you that it's impacting my friends, my neighbors, it's impacting families throughout southern illinois. you're looking at people giving up 20% of their pay, and that's going to have a profound impact on the local economy. you know, those people who aren't getting a full week's pay for a full week's work won't be buying new cars. they certainly won't be buying new houses. and they won't be going down and getting that widescreen tv, or maybe going out to eat. >> right. >> and so, that's going to have a ripple effect throughout the economy. i'd like to point out, too, it's not just scott air force base. you know, we have federal prisons, and -- who are facing furloughs. that's a profound impact not only on the economy but also on the safety of those other prison employees.
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we have the shawnee national forest, the largest national forest in illinois, very significant impact. >> yeah. well -- >> we're losing three air control towers. >> it's, it's, it's being felt as you're very aptly saying across so many areas and that means that your constituents are feeling it and they must not be very happy. the st. patrick's day parade incident, i know you were, you were marching part of that parade. but what did you hear from them? >> well, you know, i had several people stop me and ask me about sequester. the people are concerned about it. and they asked me to vote against it. as i -- as i did. and as i will continue to do. sequester is -- is a mindless exercise. we need to do this with thinking it through and approaching it with a plan. you know, in the military when we had a problem we sat together as a staff. we worked out a solution to it. and then we worked together. and there might be disagreements, but you figured out the best way to approach a
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problem and then you dealt with it. sequester does not do that. >> but, you know, here's something that's interesting, and call me cynical, but i have to say it was pretty surprising to see congress avoid a government shutdown that was set for march 27th. i mean it didn't even go down to the wire. we always talk about, oh, you're at the 11 1/2 hour. so what went right this time? >> i can tell you as part of the freshman class, we've come to congress, i believe, with the intent of getting something done. and of working together. and working across the aisle. that's what i've done, that's what i did during my career for 35 years. i had to testify before the legislature, and i had to work with both republican legislators, and democratic legislators, and my intent was to get a job done, whether it was working on natural disasters, or preparedness or deploying the largest single deployment since world war ii to afghanistan. when you've got a problem, you sit down, you figure out the best solution and you work towards it. and that's what i intend to do in congress. >> okay.
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we're going to hold you to it. in the meantime, we thank you for your time. thank you so much. >> thank you. should we believe the news on housing this week? that and a move by pepsi are among the big money headlines. also we want to hear more from you so please head over to facebook and search "weekends with alex witt" and like us. it's delicious. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side. [ construction sounds ] ♪ [ watch ticking ] [ engine revs ] come in. ♪ got the coffee.
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so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. thanks honey yeah you suck at folding [ laughs ] [ female announcer ] one cap of tide gives you more cleaning power than 6 caps of the bargain brand. [ woman ] that's my tide, what's yours? now to our three big money headlines. first up and humming. then speed boarding. and bottle service. consumer expert regina lewis is joining me with a breakdown from washington, d.c. good morning to you, regina. glad you're here. >> thank you. >> we're going to start with some good news of the housing market. tell us about that. >> it is good news. i really like the underlying data here. home sales, fastest paced in three years. and it's not just distress sales. so institutions, the hedge funds of the world coming in and buying up properties. they've actually human beings who plan to live in the homes moving. and that's important. as foreclosures also work their way out of the market prices are up about 11%.
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and it's not just in pockets across the country, alex. now it's nationwide. so 88% of cities are seeing prices higher in real estate. that increase is enough to lift a lot of people above water. if you were under water on your mortgage, meaning you didn't have enough equity to get out. so now you can get out. the question becomes where do you go? because the overall inventories, the lowest since 1999. in part because building and construction, which came to a halt in 2009, isn't that easy to ramp up. you can't just say, hey, guys, get the staff, get the trucks, get the land, get the permits and start building. right now you've got low supply and higher prices. that's good news for the overall market. >> great to hear that kind of news. about about for flyers? preferential treatment for those who travel lightly? >> this is interesting. american airlines is doing a test, exactly that. they, of course, famously in 2008 started charging for luggage that you checked in. so, now, they are doing an experiment at dwi, dulles, fort
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lauderdale and austin if you have no carry-ons right after they board first class and priority boarding you'll get on. they're wondering will that be an incentive to check your carry-ons and, of course, pay, or just pack more lightly and not have them in the first place? because, by charging for carry-ons, of course everybody started that work-around. not only is a bad customer service when you board a plane and everybody is shoving stuff into the overhead bin, at some airports the carrier pays by the minute to the airport for every second they're on the ground. so that whole process, which is very cumbersome, takes time. so that was an unintended economic consequence. so maybe now they're going to win, more people will pay to check the bags, and they'll have fewer minutes on the ground. >> i'm really curious to see how that plays out. we'll see what happens there. what about the new look for pepsi? what's all that about? >> you know, i'm trying to figure out what it's about. because i looked at the bottle. here it is. not that different. apparently the bottom, you'll see there, is easier to grip, and the label is slightly smaller.
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so you see more of the soda. now it doesn't strike me as the most earth shattering news in the world. i thought beyonce was going to be on the label or something. but it is the first change they've had in 17 years. and don't expect to see it real soon. this was the most interesting part to me. it takes one to two years for them to change all the assembly lines and rotate the old bottles out of the system. amazing. >> huh. kind of wonder if it's worth it. i guess we'll see. thank you so much regina lewis. as always, glad to have you. >> thanks. >> a skyscraper that was faster than the speeding bullet? or a speeding bullet? ahead. a dream. by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's.
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but with kids growing up fast, fighting seven signs of aging gets harder. introducing total effects moisturizer plus serum. for the ninety-two practices, two proms, and one driving test yet to come. she'll need our most concentrated total effects ever. welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." believe it or not, this hour, on this day, in this year, will be remembered throughout history. why? right now, the new pope is meeting the old pope. pope francis and former pope benedict are meeting behind closed doors for a private lunch at castel gandolfo. it could be the first and only time ever that a meeting like this happens.
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nbc's claudio labongio is in rome. put this in perspective here, this meeting. >> well, alex, pope francis arrived about 15 minutes ago, in his white helicopter here. castel gandolfo was circling overhead here above the square and hundreds of people who came here to greet him. of course there was a huge round of applause and they're chanting his name. they want him to appear on that balcony over there. the balcony of the summer residence. we don't know whether he's going to do it yet. the plan is pope emeritus benedict x16 welcomed him, drov back to the library where they're going to have a private lunch. even if he doesn't appear on the balcony, it doesn't get more historic. this is the first time in 2000 years of christianity that two popes actually meet in a friendly occasion. the last time, let me remind you
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was 1294, because he resigned because he didn't want the job, and his successor jailed him. that was a less friendly occasion than this one for sure. but it will be quite a sight when we see him either appear on that balcony, of course, either together or by himself, or when we'll get some pictures of this historic meeting. >> as you said it's a private lunch, so we don't necessarily know what's being discussed there. talk about the nature of their relationship. what do we know about francis and benedict and how they've interacted before this? >> well, it is a very good relationship, of course, alex. pope benedict xvi even before the pope francis was elected pledged obedience and reverence to the next pope just to make sure that there was no doubt that he wouldn't put any of his authority in doubt, and pope francis on his side has said all along on numerous occasions that
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he has gratitude or expressed his gratitude towards the work done by pope benedict xvi during his eight years of pontificate. even called him a couple of times on the phone. the first night after his election he called him up to express his gratitude and then he called him again on saint joseph day after the mass of the installation mass, as saint joseph, of course, was also the day for joseph ratzinger, the real name of cardinal of pope benedict xvi. we're all here waiting to see whether the pope appears on the balco balcony, but also to see how that meeting goes. >> i did appreciate that one of the first things the pope did upon being elected was offer prayers for benedict. so clearly they must have a very good relationship. claudio, thank you so much. in about an hour, president obama will be leaving jordan. he's bound for washington. earlier today the president toured the ancient city of petra. that is jordan's famed archaeological site. it is enclosed by towering sandstone cliffs and dates back to prehistoric times.
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joining me now for more on president obama's middle east trip in tel aviv, nbc's correspondent martin fletcher, and from washington, p.j. crowley, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs and a fellow at the george washington institute for public diplomacy and global communication. that's one long title, p.j. >> it is alex. >> a good day to both of you. martin, the president's first official trip to israel, stage it for me. do you call it a success? >> i do. i would call it a success, given the rather limited expectations. nobody was expecting that there was going to be a breakthrough in the peace process or a breakthrough in any of the other discussions they were having regarding iran or syria, mainly. but the success, i think, came from he really did succeed in changing the hearts and minds of a large number of israelis in particular when he spoke to those students in jerusalem. he really seemed to be speaking from his heart when he said in the middle east in the beginning of the speech, when he was really speaking so sincerely, it seemed at least, about his
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respect for the jewish people, his support for their -- for the israelis and their secure existence in a very difficult region. i think that really did resonate. of course, he was helped in that, if you like, by the rather surprising support he got from the audience. he was applauded many times. several standing ovations. should be pointed out, by the way, that that young audience of students was pretty carefully selected to make sure there would not be too many boos in the audience. so the overall impression, i do believe, was of an american president behind israel who has israel's back. and i think that was really what he really mostly wanted to achieve, and he did achieve it. i think so, alex. >> p.j., from your perspective, what do you see as being accomplished here? >> well, beyond what martin just said, i would just add that from the various public statements, prime minister netanyahu and president obama are literally on the same page regarding iran. both now believe that there is time on the clock to try to
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resolve this diplomatically. once he left israel, obviously, he announced some additional assistance to jordan which is shouldering the most significant burden in terms of syrian refugees. i think there, it's probably most important is what he heard from prime minister netanyahu, and king abdullah, and whether that sense of urgency enables him to consider a wider range of actions going forward. he's been very cautious about syria over the past two years. >> martin, earlier this week on our air you were characterizing the palestinians' reaction to the president as spanning from perhaps indifference to outright hostility. this trip, does this change this and allow for more goodwill on that front? >> not really, no. i wouldn't say so, alex. if anything there's probably more anger. there was a sense that obama was going so strongly out of his way to get the israelis on his side, to show them how much he respected and 1i78 pathized with them. he didn't feel that was shared
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equally with the palestinians. give you a couple of examples, for instance. palestinians were very upset. they noticed that obama mentioned an israeli child who was a victim of a rocket attack and they said, why didn't he mention any of our children. what about our prisoners of 4,5,000 who have been in israeli jails. there wasn't any word about them. he made an express point of visiting the graves of theodore hertzle the founder of modern zionism in jerusalem in tel aviv he visited the site where yitzhak rabin was killed, and the shrine there. and they said he didn't even walk past the shrine to yasser arafat that many palestinians are saying this. so there's a great deal of, i would use the word anger. because i don't think he changed the minds of many palestinians at all. and his -- >> martin remember during the speech when he went off script and he got very emotional. he talked about having met with those palestinian youths aged 15 to 22 and he appealed to the
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israeli parents out there and said, if you'd had an opportunity to speak with these kids like i did, you would want for them opportunity. you would wish them well. you would want them to have the same life and future potential that your own children do. i mean, that, to me was profound as a listened to that speech. was that lost on the palestinian population? >> i agree with you. i think it totally came from his heart. >> yeah. >> and israelis received it in that way, too. i think it was lost among the palestinians. because don't forget. the palestinians in the west bank, 23% unemployment. 153,000 employees of the palestinian authority who rarely receive a full salary, and often it's late. they have the questions of survival in the west bank. life is difficult. that's what they want. they want change on the ground and they were hoping that president obama would show them the way forward. yeah, okay, so he sympathizes with those kids. but i don't think it cut much ice with the palestinian people. it was a very moving moment, i agree with you.
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and may i just point out one thing by the way which occurred to me when you said that. i think he was right. i think many israelis listening to him would say you know what? if we met them. we would sympathize with them. we would support them. i wonder if he said the same thing to the palestinians. if you've spoken to israelis and you and palestinians would also want the best for them. you never said that. so there's -- >> interesting. >> there isn't a quid pro quo here and it's difficult territory that obama is treading on. >> p.j., i want to get your assessment of the seemingly newly improved obama/netanyahu relationship. do you think this is genuine? you think it's going to help things going forward? >> well, both leaders are stuck with each other. so i think they're both effective politicians and figured out it's to their advantage to put a floor in their relationship and also refocus on the very significant issues that the two of them will wrestle with in the coming months. >> okay. and really quickly, the president's stop in jordan,
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p.j., announcing 200 million aid to jordan to help with the syrian refugees that we've talked about. >> sure. >> how much of a difference is that going to make? >> well, it's a down payment. as the king said last night, one of the refugee camps in jordan is now the fifth largest city in that country. put that in perspective, it would be adding a philadelphia to the united states, and needing to support that. the longer this goes on the more help that jordan's going to need. it's a fragile society. so the king said millions is helpful but eventually billions will be required. >> okay, p.j. crowley, martin fletcher, good to she you both. thanks, guys. in this week's office politics i talk with msnbc's chris hayes, host of "up" which starts in about 20 minutes or so. we're going to have to explain all the noise in chris' office. i cannot believe he can get any work down in there. we're going to get to that at the end of 9 piece. but i began by asking chris about the president's priorities during this week's trip to the middle east. >> i think the most critical thing is essentially the reprioritization of the peace
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process, such as it is. which it -- there is no peace process right now. so, the first thing i think is communicating that america does not think the status quo is tenable or sustainable. and i think that out of the gate there were messages sent from the white house to that effect towards both parties, palestinians and israelis. and i think what ended up happening was the president lost a few squirmishes, particularly with the netanyahu government or things like settlement freeze. and it was a little like touching a hot stove. which is that they just kind of walked away. >> with regard to iran, where there seemed to be no easy answers whatsoever, is there at all a military appetite for intervention in that country? >> well, is there an appetite? i don't think there is. i think it would be massively incomprehensibly destructive and terrible for there to be a military action against iran. i think we're just sitting here ten years after the iraq war,
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everyone's talking about the iraq war. lesson from the iraq war is don't start wars. a military strike on iran would very clearly be starting a war. people talk about, well diplomacy first, and then the -- but everything is on the table, right? there's always the stick and the carrot. right? well, that was exactly the structure of the conversation on iraq. go back and look at the floor speeches hillary clinton and john kerry voted for the iraq war resolution on the floor of the senate. what they said is we are empowering the president to have a credible threat to wield in order to make diplomacy happen. the logic behind much of the support for the iraq war resolution, and that whole month leading up to the actual invasion was the idea that it was only the credible threat of an intervention that had gotten the inspectors back into iraq. that was making diplomacy possible. what ended up happening at the end of that road? the thing that was put on the table, right, was picked up and used, right? this is like the checkov quote if you put a gun on stage in the
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first act, it has to go off in the third. if you put military intervention on the table in our political environment, you increase the likelihood of it being used. there's this bizarre argument which goes around that you can incredibly wield military intervention as a threat and the more credible it is the less likely it gets used because it forces diplomacy. i don't think history bears that out at all. i get really, really worried, almost panicked when i hear the thought of military intervention against iran being thrown around. >> what the hell? >> it's -- you know, it was like my second day here. >> yeah. >> and midway through the day, a zumba class. >> boom. >> emerged. throbbing against this wall because that's the msnbc universal gym. >> yeah. >> and i was taken aback at first. i'm now growing sort of used to it. although it's not -- i wouldn't be totally grief stricken at leaving it behind. >> did you ever think about giving up the bike riding for midday zumba? >> yes. >> because it's right here. >> listening to zumba day in and
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day out has made me not want to do zumba more than anything. >> yeah. like who could blame him, right? more of our conversation today at 12:00 noon. we're going to be rocking and talking about the politics of sequestration and chris is going to give us a preview of his prime-time show debuting next month here on msnbc. in the murder trial of the year, a twist you might not have expected from an unlikely source. next. a trimmer? no. we got nothing. we just bought our first house, we're on a budget. we're not ready for spring. well let's get you ready. very nice. you see these various colors. we got workshops every saturday. yes, maybe a little bit over here. this spring, take on more lawn for less. not bad for our first spring. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. get ortho home defense, a special buy at just $6.88. watch this -- alakazam! ♪ [ male announcer ] staples has always made getting office supplies easy. ♪
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diagnosed miss arias with this. yet, you didn't have your first discussion with her until 2009, more than six months after the event. please clarify. >> joining me with legal perspective on this story, former federal prosecutor and criminal defense attorney jay fahey and legal analyst lisa green. i got to tell you, i'm loving the jury questions. these guys are asking what needs to be answered. and i want to talk about the state of arizona, jay, because it's just one of four states? >> four states. >> that allows the jury to ask questions. let's listen to a little bit more of that. here we go. >> why would you continue to sleep with travis after you learned of his child porn issues? >> i mean, a great question. how effective is this? >> it's very effective. a couple of different reasons. number one, it shows how interested the jury is, and they're really part of the process. sometimes you have juries that are half falling asleep. the great part, both sides the prosecutor and defense attorney get to see what the jury is
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thinking and they can then address their cross or redirect to those issues. >> and so what does it tell you, lisa, about their mind-set and how does the attorney react? >> well, i mean what we're seeing is a theme we've seen in prior weeks in this case, deep skepticism on the part of the jury as to jodi arias' believability, her story, and this witness is there, dr. samuels, tobelievability. and dr. samuels is here to help her along, explain away these odd memory lapses. it sure sounded the me like the jury wasn't quite buying what he was selling. >> all of the questions, there's some. why do you think they are being allowed to have so many? is this because it's a nationally watched case? >> i think sometimes judges and attorneys do play somewhat to the camera but i think even if the camera wasn't in the courtroom i think these questions would be asked. i've had cases where jurors have been allowed to ask questions. they give to it the judge. sometimes the judge will summarize two or three questions into one question. the jury is interested and it's very good for the process.
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>> the diagnosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, disassociative amnesia. we have to talk about that. listen. >> i was able to diagnose miss arias with post-traumatic stress disorder with all psychological probability she was suffering from at the time i evaluated her. >> lisa, that's all fine and good if that's an evaluation post. but how does that bear any relevance on what happened when she allegedly murdered him? >> once again what we have here is a witness, the defense is bringing in to restore her credibility. in other words, how do we explain her story which is met by a lot of skepticism that she forgot what happened. remember her initial response to authorities was, i didn't know about this, then masked intruders then self-defense. he's meant to sort of help her out, restore her credibility but, you know, obviously a
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combative prosecutor took direct aim at his testimony. >> hasn't there been -- hasn't that witness we just heard from say i'm not sure if she's not lying? >> there were lies she told him in the interview and this witness ended up saying those lies didn't matter at all and i still believe in the conclusions that i have. >> once your story -- talking about lying with a witness meant to help the defense you're in some trouble >> you're in big trouble. . it listen to this witness one more time a clip from that. let's listen to what he said here. >> did those feelings of sympathy that you had to start this evaluation, isn't it true that they still existed during the second meeting that you had with her? >> so, if he's trying to put some sort of a prejudicial interpretation of things, is this maybe not going to help the defense? >> this ties in also to the fact that the psychologist, psychiatrist gave her a book and
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one of the rules of treating someone or even examining someone is you're not supposed to give them any kind of gifts. they are trying to show this therapist is not a professional therapist. that was the theme of these series of questions. >> i can't wait to have you both back because this trial as you said will go on until 2014. it seems but it won't. thank you so much. good to see you. people along the east coast last night couldn't believe what they saw streaking across the sky. that's next. [ ding ] [ moaning ] [ male announcer ] with rose hips and chamomile... you'll fall in love with your hair... yes! yes! yes! [ male announcer ] ...all over again. herbal essences. say yes again to naturally irresistible hair.
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new security measures at the statue of liberty when it reopens this summer. visitors will go through two security checks before entering the famed landmark. the is a stuff liberty was closed for repairs after the island it sits on was damaged during hurricane sandy. something that had folks along the east coast buzzing. a security camera in maryland captured the brief stunning images of meteor. it streaked across the sky at a blazing 10 miles a second and
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was spotted by folks in at least 12 states. and that's a wrap of this hour of weekend with alex witt. join me for a two hour edition. straight ahead more smart political talk with "up with chris hayes" and then melissa harris-perry all here on msnbc. life brings obstacles. usaa brings retirement advice. try running four.ning a restaurant is hard, fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it. make your mark with ink from chase.

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